Man Bitten By Severed Rattlesnake Head Almost Dies

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

A Corpus Christi man thought he'd eliminated the danger when he killed a rattlesnake in his yard by decapitating it with a shovel. But, when he bent down to dispose of the snake, the severed head bit him. 

The man's wife, Jennifer Sutcliffe, told KII-TV, "Which in that case, since there is no body, it released all its venom into him at that point, so he had a lot of venom."

Sutcliffe called 911 and began driving her husband to the hospital. On the way, he began having seizures, lost his vision and experienced internal bleeding. She was met on the road by an ambulance and he was then HALO-Flighted to the hospital.

Doctors told Sutcliffe her husband might not make it, even after giving him vast amounts of antivenin.

"A normal person who is going to get bit is going to get two to four doses of antivenin," she said. "He had to have 26 doses."

Sutcliffe's husband is now in stable condition, but his kidney function is still weak. Trauma surgeon Michael Halpert said dying from a snake bite is rare, but it does happen.

"There are about 6,000 to 8,000 snake bites per year in the country, and 10 to 12 of those people die," Halpert said.

Have you ever been bitten by a venomous snake? 

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